Mother’s Day is one of the best tree poems in English and this tree solutions are well provided by Edumantra including Introduction, Message, Theme, Title, Characters, Summary in English, Summary in Hindi, Word meanings, Complete lesson in Hindi, Extracts , Long answers, Short answers, Very short Answers, MCQs and much more.
By- J.B. Priestley
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– (Mother’s Day)/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – (Mother’s Day)
The play has five major characters in all. Mrs Annie Pearson, her husband George. their son Cyril, their daughter Doris and her neighbour Mrs Fitzgerald. The action takes place in the living room of the Pearson’s house in a London suburb. It is afternoon.
Mrs Pearson and Mrs Fitzgerald are neighbours. Mrs Pearson is a pleasant but worried looking woman in her forties. She is docile and submissive. She is very fond of her children although they treat her like a domestic slave. Mrs Fitzgerald is older, heavier and a strong woman. She is a fortune teller. She had learnt that art in an Asian country. Where she had spent twelve years. She smokes, drinks and also plays cards.
The two ladies are seen together as the curtain goes up. It is Mrs Pearson’s house. She tells her problem to her neighbour. The children Doris and Cyril are grown-ups but both are selfish and thoughtless. They work in some office. But soon after coming back home, they are in a hurry to go out to enjoy themselves. They demand tea and other services like the ironing of their clothes. The weak doting mother feels hurt but dares not have her say. Even her husband George doesn’t think of her considerately.
Mrs Fitzgerald is a domineering woman who knows how to live life on her own terms. She advises Mrs Pearson also to be strong and become the boss of her family. She must not run after them or take orders from them. Such a service will only ruin them. Husbands, sons. daughters should be taking notice of their wives and mothers, and not treating them like dirt. But Mrs Pearson hates unpleasantness. She is too weak to take a decisive strong step. She agrees with her neighbour but she can’t promise to have it out with her family.
Mrs Fitzgerald offers to set the entire family right and put them in their places. She has a plan to change places ‘or personalities with Mrs Pearson. She takes her hands and mutters a spell-“Arshtatta dum – arslitatta lum”. Both go lax for a while. Then they come to life with the changed personalities. Now Mrs Pearson is bold and dominating, and Mrs Fitzgerald is nervous. She notices that her body has changed and she gives a scream. Mrs Pearson with her neighbour’s personality is ready to deal with her family. The real Mrs Pearson, however, is assured that they should change hack easily.
Mrs Pearson, in her new incarnation, smokes a cigarette and lays out the cards for a game on the table.
Doris, a pretty girl in her twenties, bursts into the room. She is a spoilt child: she demands two things from her mother—the ironing of her yellow silk and a cup of tea. She is taken aback to see her mother smoking. She is further shocked to know that there is no tea ready. She is in a hurry to go out with her boyfriend—Charlie Spence. The mother refuses to do any ironing. She downgrades Charlie Spence. She condemns the yellow silken dress. She calls Charlie a man with buck teeth and half-witted! Doris is in tears, and she runs out.
After a moment, there comes Cyril. He also demands tea from his mother. He is annoyed to hear a ‘No’ from her. He also learns to his dismay that his clothes have neither been laid out nor mended. He wonders if she is unwell. He also wonders why she should refuse to serve him and talk to him harshly. His mother explains that she too needs a weekly change from her routine.
Doris enters the room. She is now wearing a wrap. The mother tells her that she looks terrible. Doris blames her for making her cry. The mother then expresses her desire to drink stout. The brother and the sister start talking in whispers. Doris tells Cyril that mother had been smoking and playing cards. She is altogether changed. Perhaps she has hit her head and become barmy. Both wait for their father eagerly. The mother chides them for their silly and loud laughing. The children are tearful again. They wish to know why the mother is so very harsh with them. She replies that she too won’t work for more than eight hours a day. She is rendering a thankless service. She has decided to go to Clarendon for a meal. She, too, needs a change. And she thinks she is old enough to look after herself. She is offended when Doris enquires if she had hit herself with something. She warns them to behave properly.
George Pearson returns home. He is about fifty, heavy and pompous. He notices tears in Doris’ eyes. He first wants to know why Doris is sobbing. Then his eyes bulge to see his wife sipping stout. He disapproves of drinking at that hour of the day. He declares that he wouldn’t want any tea because he is going to the club to watch a snooker match and have supper. But he wonders why there isn’t any tea ready. Annie hits back hard. She challenges him to dictate terms at the club where they laugh at him. They also call him Pompy-company Pearson for being slow and pompous. She charges him with neglecting her. Cyril confirms that the club members call his father Pompey-company Pearson. George is so shocked that he leaves the room.
Cyril points out to his mother that she shouldn’t have hurt father’s feeling. But she argues that it does people good to have their feelings hurt sometimes. She suggests that George should not go to the club so often where he is made fun of.
There is a sharp knocking on the door. Cyril opens the door and reports that their silly old neighbour has come. Mrs Pearson rebukes him for calling Mrs Fitzgerald names. Mrs Pearson welcomes her neighbour warmly. The neighbour who has undergone a personality change. Is, In fact, Mrs Pearson herself. She is curious to know how things are going on in her house.
When Cyril complains and shouts, the mother warns him sternly to keep quiet. She also tells her neighbour to let her manage her family in her own way. She reports that she is just putting George and two children in their places. The rough treatment will do all of them a lot of good.
George enters the room. He is surprised to see the visitor. The neighbour addresses him by his first name, George. He takes offence. But Annie sees nothing objectionable in it. He complains that there is no tea for him, that he is told how the club members ridicule him that Doris is crying upstairs and finally, Mrs Fitzgerald is addressing him as George. He asks his neighbour to let them be. His wife takes him to task for his bad manners. She tells him to go to his club. He shouts and calls her barmy. But Mrs Pearson threatens to slap his big, fat. silly face.
George looks at the two ladies in bewilderment. He wonders why the neighbour is addressing his wife as Mrs Fitzgerald. He remarks that his wife is a little drunk. He is put out and speechless.
Doris enters the room slowly. The neighbour asks her about her plan to go out with Charlie that night. She is offended; she asks angrily why Mrs. Fitzgerald is taking interest in her personal life. Anyway, she has cancelled the outing because her mother has made her feel miserable. Mrs Fitzgerald tells George as well as the children to leave the room and let her have a private little talk with Mrs Pearson. She assures that the outcome of the talks would please them all.
The neighbour (Mrs. Fitzgerald with the personality of Mrs Pearson) now insists on changing back—she decides that the members of her family should not be treated so harshly anymore. Mrs Pearson agrees to that. She mutters the same old spell, and both become their proper personalities. Mrs Fitzgerald advises her neighbour not to go soft on them again, otherwise, all her labour would go waste. Secondly, she must not give any explanation or feel sorry for the drama. A tone of being tough would work. She asks what Mrs Pearson really wants her husband and children to do.
Mrs Pearson gives a list of her demands. They should stop at home for once, help her prepare and serve dinner and play a game of rummy sometimes. She agrees to act on Mrs Fitzgerald advice and deal with her family with a firm hand.
George, Doris and Cyril enter the room and look anxiously at Mrs Pearson. She smiles and they smile back. She now unfolds her plan. She asks for a nice family game of rummy. The children will get the supper ready while she will have a talk with their father. All agree with her. She finally thanks her neighbour and bids her goodbye. As she walks out of the room, the family gathers around the mother.